Hello, Amer here, minicabit’s founder and CEO. Every year proves transformative for minicabit and 2015 was no different, even when you compare it to our pretty spectacular 2014. Here are just some of our highlights in 2015 :
January – March
The new year gave rise to a new logo and a new app. Our new brand identity now looks sleeker, conveys a stronger sense of motion, with our app icon perhaps looking more, well, iconic.
More importantly, we totally revamped the app itself, including finally launching it for Android phones. This design really stands out in the marketplace, as recognised by various Awards (see below). It enables you to compare cab quotes in even fewer clicks than before whilst making the more complex trip requirements easy to add. So the app can work out the right sized car for all your diverse luggage types from rucksacks to even TVs and mattresses, so you no longer need to figure out the dimensions for an estate car or a minivan. You can even add extra stops on the way to your destination if you’re picking up or dropping off passengers, with the app working out the total price.
With February came Valentine’s Day and as a sign of how minicabit always likes to do things differently, we thought we’d offer an ‘Unhappy Hour’ for those of you either feeling fed up or left out during the occasion. There was a lot of love for the idea, judging by the response!
As Easter beckoned, we were busier than the Easter bunny. Portsmouth Port started offering minicabit, building out our ‘land, air, sea’ coverage given our other partnerships with top airports and concert arenas. And with Big Yellow Storage enabling their customers to easily shift their lite household items via minicabit to or from their sites UK wide, this move (pardon the pun) was the latest example of how we can help customers for any occasion…and even win free storage!
April – June
‘Surge pricing’ is a term creeping into the cab market…yet minicabit is going the other way with flash sales! To show how minicabit can showcase the best, exclusive discounts from Cab Operators UK wide, we offered flash sales for airports around the UK for those travelling over the Easter period.
With a Spring in our step, our partnerships with Heathrow and Blenheim Palace blossomed in the spotlight, and so did minicabit as we were listed as one of the UK’s top 100 startups! Banking on our mission to always offer our customers more choice, we partnered with Barclays Bank to enable our app users to pay for their cab fare with Barclays’ Pingit payment app. So instead of stopping off at a cash point during a cab trip, Pingit users can prepay their cab fare with just a few taps on their app.
With the UK General Election upon us, minicabit played its part in bringing all the parties together and that bit closer to No. 10 Downing Street. Our unique feature to easily send a cab quote meant we could show the true cost of reaching Downing Street – by cab – for each of the prospective leaders. Looks like there’ll be a very different set of quotes to compile for the next Election…
July – September
2014 was notable for the strikes on the London Underground and 2015 was no different! Some were called off at the last minute but some weren’t. And despite the stress for customers, it was pleasing to see that minicabit offered an alternative for customers to still move around Greater London since they could pre-book their cabs with us rather than gamble on one being available on-demand.
Summer season also heralded the peak flows of travellers into and out of the UK via our airports. Since no service can match minicabit’s UK-wide range of airport cab deals, we decided to plot these on a cool, interactive map. By clicking on any airport icon on the map, you can instantly see how we can offer better airport rates than your local cab provider. We took this a step further and could even show the best cab quotes for the Rugby World Cup matches taking place around the country.
Meanwhile, no summer slacking for us as we continued to enhance our service with more features making it easier for you to book. On the web, we introduced the ability to pay with PayPal whilst app users could easily store their favourite Home/Work locations.
October – December
The final few months of the year saw a flurry of even more achievements. Our drive to always innovate compelling experiences for our customers and Cab Operators took on a new twist. We collaborated with our longstanding partner, The O2 Arena, and Barclays to enable their bank customers to enjoy an exclusive discount on cabs to key events when booking via minicabit’s app. A top concert arena and bank collaborating with the UK’s cab firms? Only minicabit could make that happen. Indeed, it wasn’t just us who thought that – we were pleased to attract some top investors to help take minicabit to the next level.
And to cap such an exciting year that kicked off with our new look app, we were delighted to receive some nice kudos from our peers. Up until now, our app had come runner up for so many awards (you can see our unused acceptance speech here) that we thought we’d enter 2016 empty handed. So we were thrilled to be awarded ‘App of the Year’ at the Startup awards, especially as minicabit also has such a strong web service too.
Whilst industry gongs are always nice to have, what matters more is the support of our customers, partners and over 700 (and counting!) Cab Operators. And so I’d like to thank all of them as well as my team and our investors as we dive into 2016. With lots of new features coming up such as a premium cab service, it’s going to be an exciting year!
Finally, in 2014 our longest single cab trip taken was from Newcastle to London. In 2015, that was eclipsed by a trip from Snowdonia (in North Wales) to London. We’re still waiting for someone to book the ultimate trip, from Lands End to John o’ Groats. Go on, you know you want to…